Apology to Beefeater sacked over bullying claims

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The Independent Online

A Beefeater sacked for allegedly harassing the first female Yeoman Warder has been offered an apology and a financial pay-out, it emerged today.

Mark Sanders-Crook was dismissed last November after an investigation into allegations of a bullying campaign against Moira Cameron.

His dismissal followed a series of claims about his behaviour made by her, including that he swore more frequently in her company, avoided her presence and generally acted as a "ringleader" when it came to unfair treatment.

Mr Sanders-Crook subsequently launched employment tribunal proceedings against Historic Royal Palaces, with the case due to be heard by London Central Employment Tribunal last week.

But a settlement was reached instead and proceedings have been closed, Historic Royal Palaces said.

A spokeswoman said: "Since the dismissal of Mr Sanders-Crook and the subsequent internal appeal, Historic Royal Palaces has reviewed this matter and has concluded that dismissal was not justified.

"It regrets the pain which has been caused to Mark Sanders-Crook and his family. We have therefore apologised to Mr Sanders-Crook and reached agreement on an appropriate settlement...

"The parties are pleased that it has been possible to resolve their dispute."

Mr Sanders-Crook will now be pursuing his career elsewhere rather than seeking reinstatement, she added.

The figure awarded to Mr Sanders-Crook is thought to be in the region of £50,000.

The former Grenadier Guardsman said he felt "tarnished" by Miss Cameron's claims.

He told the Evening Standard: "I had always expected to see out the rest of my working life at the Tower of London.

"I've always strongly denied these allegations and I'm still in touch with the other warders who have been very supportive."

He added that he was "humbled" by a Facebook campaign to have him reinstated.

More than 2,100 people have joined the group on the social networking site.

Mr Sanders-Crook, who is in his mid-40s, lost his £25,000 salary and reduced rent home at the world famous Tower of London following his dismissal.

Miss Cameron, from Argyll, Scotland, also in her mid-40s, became the first female Yeoman Warder in the Tower's 1,000-year history in 2007.

She joined the Army at the age of 20 and served in Northern Ireland and Cyprus, rising to the rank of Warrant Officer Class 2.

She qualified to be a Yeoman Warder after completing the required minimum 22 years in the armed forces.

She revealed when she joined that not everyone was welcoming when she started work at the Tower alongside her 34 male Beefeater colleagues.

Miss Cameron said at the time: "I've had some comments. I had one chap at the gate one day who said he was completely and utterly against me doing the job."

Historic Royal Palaces said it expected all staff to "value and demonstrate our commitment to diversity and maintaining a welcoming and supportive working environment".

The spokeswoman added: "Lessons will be learned from this case that will ensure we deliver this commitment more effectively in the future."

Mr Sanders-Crook boasted 29 years of service with the armed forces when he was dismissed.

He is understood to have found new employment with a firm specialising in political and medical evacuations from countries in conflict.